With today’s virtualisation technologies, the Windows imaging process of creating and deploying a reference image is not always suitable.
In some scenarios you may just want to deploy Windows, patch it, then sysprep and shutdown a machine without capturing an image. Creating a Virtual Hard Drive Image is such a situation.
Image templates are required in many virtualisation scenarios, such as Hyper-V/VMware server templates, Med-V, VDI. The list is endless.
Previously I would use MDT to build and patch my image. I would then sysprep Windows via a script or use the manual process. Now MDT 2012 can do this for you with a new feature that has been added to the capture options. It is called Sysprep only. In the Lite-Touch deployment wizard it can be manually selected like in the screenshot below:
I am automating the sysprep and shutdown process by adding the following lines to my customsettings.ini file:
SkipCapture=YES DoCapture=SYSPREP FinishAction=SHUTDOWN
The above settings sysprep and shut down my servers and desktop virtual machines at the end of my lite-touch deployments. At this point they’re ready for me to convert them into Server templates. Life is good.